KISS me baby!

A long long time ago (the timestamp I put on it says May 26 1996, back when WWW was new), I wrote this page, an attempt to describe the way I look at things. KISS is still something that I live by. It's something mathematicians and physicists are taught (or know instinctively), but not often applied to life. We all know that if a derivation, proof or equation looks like it's getting overly complicated, then it probably is and a mistake has probably been made somewhere. Of course some proofs and equations are naturally complex. But if it's gotten more complicated than you think it should be, it's time to step back and look for errors. It's something that's happened to me many many times. I remember working on assignments and solving equations that were getting far too involved, and then discovering I'd made a simple little mistake a few steps back.

One incident in particular that I often think about was an assignment for a partial differential equations class. Most of the assignments in that class routinely took several dozen pages to complete. One question I was working on turned into an ugly complicated 13 page writeup, at which point I tossed it and started over. Discovered a mistake I had made with a sign (something I was notorious for), and all of a sudden it became so much simpler. The 13 page solution I had written up earlier turned into a much more elegant 5 page writeup after I fixed my error.

I think the same thing goes for life. It shouldn't be complicated or convoluted or difficult. Simple, low maintenance and low stress. Makes for a much more enjoyable lifestyle.

Reprinted here for posterity and to fix some broken links.

K.I.S.S. Philosophy

This page has absolutely no relation to the rock band.

I've made K.I.S.S. one of the guiding principles of my life. It's self-explanatory, easy to follow and makes for a nice stress-free lifestyle. It works quite nicely for me, and it will probably work well for you too.

If you're not familiar with KISS, it stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. The Jargon file defines the KISS Principle as a design philosophy. However, I think it can and should apply to much more.

For me, KISS is all about removing as much of the complexity in life as is practical. Note the emphasis on practical. I don't believe it's possible or even desirable to remove all the complicated things in life. I think if you did that, life would be very boring. After all, some of the more interesting times in life come about when things get complicated.

So what's complicated and what's simple? That's something you have to decide for yourself.

What KISS is for me

KISS is...

  • letting my instincts and intuition lead me around.
  • low stress. KISS could even be a Zen thing. KISS is minimal effort, but not laziness. In this day an age, people are stressed out about alot of things they don't need to stress out over. They need more simplicity and less complexity.
  • low brain-power. If you have to spend an inordinate amount of brain power working something out, then you're not following KISS. Some tasks do require alot of brain power, but if you think you're spending more than it should take, then it's time to step back and take another look.
  • simple. KISS is straight lines. KISS is elegant simplicity.
  • a low budget, low maintenance lifestyle

KISSish Readings

Winnie the Pooh
The House at Pooh Corner
The Tao of Pooh
Winnie the Pooh, IMO is one of the most KISSish...umm...people? that you can find. When was the last time you read Winnie the Pooh? Probably too long ago to really remember huh. As for The Tao of Pooh, personally, I think this is a KISSish book. Ya, ya, I know it's all about Taoism and how Winnie the Pooh can be seen as being very Taoist. I also think Winnie the Pooh is very KISSish too. Read these books. Maybe you'll receive some enlightenment like I did.

Examples of KISS

Other believers in KISS

Try doing a WWW search on

  • kiss philosophy
  • kiss principle
  • keep it simple stupid

on one of these search engines

KISS...what else is there to say?